It's the week before my 36th birthday and I have been looking around me and wondering where exactly middle school ends. The full-time job is actually VERY grown-up (with the exclusion of the particularly catty steno-pool on the verge of retirement), but the part-time job? Well. There seems to be no end to middle school humor in the auto parts industry.
Have I mentioned that I sell auto parts in the evenings and on weekends? I try to, anyway. A lot of my phone calls go like this:
Me: "Blankety-Blank Auto Parts, this is Heather. May I help you?"
Drunken Country Boy On Other End: "Yeah, Patty (?)*. Is there a man available that I could speak with, darling?"
Me: (choking on the words that I should say) "One moment please."
The men that I work with are all in their late-20s-early-to-mid-30s. They love to talk about farting, sex, and poop. They get endless hours of entertainment out of a fart joke told at just the right moment and they don't care who knows it. I think, in their minds, I am on their turf, a girl in an auto-parts store so there is no need for decorum, for pretending to be adults, for attempting to cover their childishness. They have to do that everywhere else, the last protected place they have is the auto-parts store.
There is seriously a guy that pinches my arm whenever I pass by him, or I am on the phone. Does this mean he likes me?
And it's not just them. Ordinary men will come in off the street and instantly join in the conversation as if they were just talking about masturbating to whale songs before they came in the door (I seriously did not even know that this was a THING until I started working there.)
I feel like I have been an adult forever, I barely remember middle school. Do guys seriously live like this? Trapped in a world that expects them to be adults when really they are just highly functioning (some of them) eighth graders? Is this what I tell my daughter to expect from a man in the future (although she says that she is not getting married until she is 52, so there may be hope yet.)?
When do men realize that eighth grade is over and begin to grow up? Do they ever?
* They always call me Patty. Every single time without fail. Why do they call me Patty?